Whopper of the Week: Peggy Cooper Cafritz.

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
May 2 2003 12:06 PM

Whopper of the Week: Peggy Cooper Cafritz

Oh, that Web essay ...

"I did not write that. That's really scary. ... I guess somebody had to have hacked into [my Web site], because I sure as hell didn't put it up there because it's not mine."

Washington, D.C., School Board President Peggy Cooper Cafritz explaining why a Cafritz-bylined essay denouncing school vouchers was on her Web site one month after Cafritz endorsed school vouchers in a Washington Post op-ed. Quoted in Justin Blum and Yolanda Woodlee's April 24 Washington Post story, " A Mystery Writer Puts Words in Cafritz's Mouth."

"Cafritz retracted those comments this week after her former executive assistant said in an interview that he and Cafritz had written the essay last year and that she had approved it. The former assistant, Philip E. Pannell, also noted that the essay was published under Cafritz's byline in two D.C. community newspapers in August.

" 'I apologize for telling you something that was untrue,' Cafritz said in a voice-mail message to a reporter."

Justin Blum's May 1 Washington Post story, "In Reversal, Cafritz Says She Wrote Web Essay."

Discussion. Many would argue that the bigger lie is the habit of public officials to sign their names to documents they've scarcely read, let alone written. A sound point, but one poorly suited to this column's steadfast literal-mindedness.

Got a whopper? Send it to chatterbox@slate.com. To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.

Whopper Archive:
April 17, 2003: Eason Jordan
March 7, 2003: John Kerry
Feb. 28, 2003: Ari Fleischer
Feb. 14, 2003: Bill O'Reilly
Feb. 7, 2003: Saddam Hussein
Jan. 31, 2003: Karl Rove
Jan. 23, 2003: Bill Frist
Jan. 17, 2003: Naji Sabri
Jan. 10, 2003: Rod Paige

(Click here  to access the Whopper Archive for 2002 and here  to access the Whopper Archive for 2001.)


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.